Electronics being one of the fastest growing industry in the world, we can see many new ideas, innovations, new projects are coming up in people’s mind. And to get started with your projects is no more difficult task.
The open source platforms like Arduino has rewarded the people by supporting them to create new and innovative products. And hence, with the changing technology, Arduino always come up with new interesting features in order to meet your creativity! As an example we can see the emerging of ARDUINO MEGA.
This Atmega2560 based microcontroller board, commonly called Arduino Mega 2560 has energized the automation industry with its platform which is very simple and easy to use and also it has some really cool features. So let’s have a look on all these interesting features one by one.
In this blog, we’ll cover:-
- What is Arduino Mega 2560?
- What are its features?
- Pin configuration in brief.
- Some of its advantages and disadvantages.
What is Arduino Mega 2560?
Arduino Mega 2560 is an open source development board based on Atmega2560 AVR microcontroller. This microcontroller is an 8- bit Microcontroller. It uses ATmega16U2 Microchip Technology. This board can be programmed using programmed using wiring/ processing language. It includes:-
- 54 digital input/ output pins out of which 14 pins can be used as PWM outputs
- 16 analog pins
- 4 UARTs (hardware serial ports)
- A 16 MHz crystal oscillator
- A USB connection
- A power Jack
- An ICSP Header
- A reset button
The revision 3 of the Arduino Mega 2560 has come up with some more additional features, they are as:
- SDA and SCL pins besides AREF pin
- IOREF and one more extra pin besides RESET
Don’t know how to use the above features? Don’t worry I’ll give you a brief idea of the purpose of the major pins and ports.
Digital Input/ Output Pins: It is used to transmit and receive the digital signals respectively.
PWM Outputs: PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) pin is used to control the signals. For example, controlling the speed of the motors, brightness of LED.
Analog Pins: It performs the function of reading analog signals. For example, reading the sensors data. Also it serves as general purpose Input/ output pins.
UART (Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter): It is used for serial communication purpose.
USB: It serves two purpose i.e. it can connect Mega 2560 board to your PC in order to program your board as well as it can be used to dram power to the board.
Power Jack: It is used to supply power to the board externally.
ICSP Header: In Circuit Serial Programming (ICSP) is one of the way to program the Arduino Board. Generally, it is used to restore the missing or damaged bootloader of Arduino. You can have an idea of it by looking at the diagram below.
SDA (Serial Data): Used for exchanging data between Master and Slave device.
SCl (Serial clock): Used as synchronous clock between master and slave devices.
IOREF: It provides us with a voltage reference with which the board can operate.
Technical Features of Arduino Mega 2560
|Input Voltage (Recommended)||7 – 12V|
|Input Voltage (Limit)||6 – 20V|
|Analog Input Pins||16|
|Digital I/O Pins||54|
|DC CUrrent for 3.3V Pin||50mA|
|DC Current per I/O Pin||20mA|
|FLash Memory||256 kB|
Pin 3.3V & 5V: This pins are used to provide regulated power supply to the Mega 2560 board.
GND Pin: Total 5 ground pins are provided on the Mega 2560 board.
Reset (RST) Pin: It is used to rearrange the functionality of the board.
Vin Pin: This pin serves the purpose of providing input voltage to the board. Remember! The range of input voltage through this pin should be in the range of 7V- 12V. In case you take output from this pin, the board will automatically set up the voltage to 5V.
Serial Communication: TXD and RXD are the serial pins of this board which is used to transmit & receive the serial data respectively.
We can make the group of this serial pins in four possible combinations:
|Pin No. for Tx||Pin No. for Rx|
External Interrupts: These are six pins that provide number of ways to trigger an interrupt for example, Providing LOW value, rising or falling edge or changing the value to the interrupt pins. The pin numbers used for this interrupt is as follows:
AREF (Analog Reference Voltage): This pin is used as reference voltage for analog inputs.
Analog Pins: There are total of 16 Analog pins from A0 – A15. The high values of this pins can be altered using AREF pin.
Digital Pins: There are 54 digital Input/output pins on the Arduino Mega board from pin numbered from 0 to 53. Out of 54 pins, 15 pins numbered from D2 – D13 and D44 – D46 are PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) pins.
I2C: It is one way of communication to the board using pin number 20 & 21.
SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) Communication: It is popularly used by the microcontrollers to communicate with one or more peripheral devices.
LED: The Mega 2560 board includes a LED which is allied to pin-13 (called digital pin 13).
Advantages and Disadvantages
Out of many advantages, Arduino Mega 2560 has few disadvantages too. Let’s see what they are.
Advantages of Arduino Mega 2560
- It comes with more memory space, bigger size and more I/O pins.
- Speedy communication can be achieved since there is a reset button and 4 hardware serial port (USART).
- There are three ways to power the board i.e. either through USB cable, or by using Vin pin of the board, or through Power jack.
- This board comes with resettable polyfuse that prevents the USB port of your computer from overheating in the presence of high current flowing through the board.
- This board comes with two voltage regulator i.e. 5V and 3.3V which provides the flexibility to regulate the voltage as per requirements.
Disadvantages of Arduino Mega 2560
- It is available only for 8-bits not for 32 bits.
- Clock speed is limited to 20 MHz.
With this blog we hope you have learnt about what an Arduino Mega is?, what are its features, pin configuration along with advantages and disadvantages. Keep watching this space for more Arduino blogs.